FZJ80 Transfer Case causing no movement?

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MrMacdugal

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Picked up a '96 FZJ80 with"bad transmission" but had no time to poke around at it. I posted about it a few weeks ago.
Well, I've started to dive in, but I don't think the trans is bad.
The vehicle has park, No E-brake, and the Transfer case will go into all 3 positions. This allowed me to put the transmission in Neutral and the Differential in Neutral and get it on and off a tow truck. When in Hi or L the vehicle cannot be pushed or moved.... Any ways,
When started, there's no dash lights, no Trans or temp lights. Nothing. When I put it in drive, the drive line loads up with pressure and when brake is released it attempts to start moving. An inch or two, but feels like it has the e-brake on, or like the drive shaft is bound or like I'm literally tied to the wall. A little gas does not help(i don't want to just mash it).
Sames results are felt in Reverse, or if 2nd start is on. I can tell it goes to second for the start, and reverse seems to work just as well.
It literally feels like the cruiser is tied to a brick wall and I'm just stretching the rope 2 inches before it will not go any further. I don't know the back story on how it came to have this issue. There was a big language barrier between myself and the previous owner.
I'm thinking its something in the transfer case. Without a lift at the moment and no other real diagnostic procedures, I need help. I'm all ears. Thanks
 
Grandlooser

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You need to buy or borrow a floor jack and start inspecting things.
 
gummycarbs

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The '93 - '97 Land Cruisers have a limited slip in the transfer case. In low range, the electronic locker in the transfer case should be engaged (hence @Irish Reiver's test).

If you have a stripped drive flange or broken Birfield, it will just spin and you won't go anywhere. As the limited-slip heats up, it will begin transferring power to the other axle, but it will do so irregularly (you can read about the "humping profile" in the transfer case document).

This has resulted in at least a few unnecessary transmission rebuilds.
 
MrMacdugal

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When I first went to buy/inspect the 80, it was up on a lift. Nothing looked out of place.
I have tried about every scenario I can think of to move forward or reverse in any gear. It will move nicely in Neutral. Low Range is same result of very little movement, but can feel the vehicle loading up and trying to move. I'm going to try to take a video today, or possibly get it on a lift... possibly
 
jonheld

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How about doing some basic things first on an unknown vehicle.

Have you checked the oil in the transfer case?
Is there oil in the transfer case?
Is it gear oil or did some knucklehead use something else?

Is there ATF in the transmission?
 
MrMacdugal

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Your absolutely right.
That's on the list for today as well.
However, there are no signs of obvious catastrophic leaks. All Plugs are in place, and there ARE signs that oil is present in most of the right places.
 
MrMacdugal

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Just took a quick video before I dragged it out to go in the shop. Tries to go, but something seems bound up somewhere. No grinding noises or anything sounding strange.

 
Irish Reiver

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Once you have completed the basics mentioned by @jonheld I would suggest that you get all 4 corners on axle stands. Drop the transfer into neutral and you should be able to troubleshoot this fairly quickly.
 
MrMacdugal

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I have it on the lift. Still same. My mechanical friend is under the assumption it is the Torque Converter. Both front and rear shafts can be spun by hand in Neutral. There appears to be plenty of Trans fluid by the dipstick. Removed the plug for the TCase oil and there seems to be very little, if any. See my picture. Just black sludge. I'm going to grab some, try like hell to get it in the hole and see what happens.
Trans
 
MrMacdugal

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On another note. It would appear that some lines trans have been changed at some point. There are newish lines with normal hose clamps in a few places and evidence of leaks. Red Trans fluid at most line connections and drops of red trans fluid ready to fall from many places.
 
MrMacdugal

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No. No it does not. I wish it did. There's definitely stuff happening in there. I can hear it actuate or what have you when i do put it in Low Range. The ABS light and the low? light comes on. But still no action.
I'm headed out to put some oil in the transfer case. I'm not sure it will be a magic solution, but one can hope.
 
P

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The T-case oil looks terrible, but that doesn't mean it's toast.

Before you tear the transfercase apart I suggest a test- With engine running put the t-case in neutral and then put the trans in gear. Without touching the gas pedal, gently attempt to shift the t-case. If you can shift it while the trans is in gear then the problem is not likely in the transfercase because the transmission would definitely be spinning if the t-case were in neutral.

Another thing you can do is unplug the shift solenoid harness from the transmission. If it will manually shift through the gears with the shifter with the harness unplugged you could have bad shift solenoids.
 
MrMacdugal

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UPDATE:
PROBLEM SOLVED!!! She drives! Read further to see how it came back... or dont. I over type.
So before I read @PIP 's perfect advice(I SWEAR!), I did that exact sequence pretty much. Funny thing is I'm pretty sure??, I had done that before.
Either way, I added about 1.5 quarts of Transfer Case Oil to the Tcase because it was severely low.
Then I just tried to get it moving while in the air. I shifted it this way and that. At one point I was getting slight movement again like in my video. I did everything I could think of, right down to tapping the M-Fing trans with a rubber mallet. Then eventually it started making some noise(Transmission) when I would put it in gear or really anywhere. Sounded like bees in a hive almost. So like a pump, I guess. But a little louder than normal.
Still nothing. I even took a video to share, but I wont. Unless you want it.
Then, after no change and though I did everything. I put it down again and pushed it to the garage door. For s***, before I pushed it out, I started it up and while the Tcase was in N, I put it in gear and started getting some MORE action noises. Not grinding exactly, but not really Good sounding. Put in back and forth to R & D then said F- it, put the T case back in HI and threw it in Reverse.
The damn thing is moving. Backed out under its own power then drove around...
Problem is the drivers seat is jammed so far forward I cant sit in it, like at all, to go for a real ride. Thats next. I also took that mangled bumper off.
Then I can really start to baseline it!
FZJ80 drives
 
BILT4ME

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UPDATE:
PROBLEM SOLVED!!! She drives! Read further to see how it came back... or dont. I over type.
So before I read @PIP 's perfect advice(I SWEAR!), I did that exact sequence pretty much. Funny thing is I'm pretty sure??, I had done that before.
Either way, I added about 1.5 quarts of Transfer Case Oil to the Tcase because it was severely low.
Then I just tried to get it moving while in the air. I shifted it this way and that. At one point I was getting slight movement again like in my video. I did everything I could think of, right down to tapping the M-Fing trans with a rubber mallet. Then eventually it started making some noise(Transmission) when I would put it in gear or really anywhere. Sounded like bees in a hive almost. So like a pump, I guess. But a little louder than normal.
Still nothing. I even took a video to share, but I wont. Unless you want it.
Then, after no change and though I did everything. I put it down again and pushed it to the garage door. For s***, before I pushed it out, I started it up and while the Tcase was in N, I put it in gear and started getting some MORE action noises. Not grinding exactly, but not really Good sounding. Put in back and forth to R & D then said F- it, put the T case back in HI and threw it in Reverse.
The damn thing is moving. Backed out under its own power then drove around...
Problem is the drivers seat is jammed so far forward I cant sit in it, like at all, to go for a real ride. Thats next. I also took that mangled bumper off.
Then I can really start to baseline it!
View attachment 2877322
Interesting, because there is nothing in the transfer case that SHOULD have required oil for it to just MOVE.

Check the transmission fluid level. I'm betting that is extremely low and the movement was enough on a transmission that has dried out and is just starting to get moving again.
 
K

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"---it attempts to start moving. An inch or two, but feels like it has the e-brake on, or like the drive shaft is bound or like I'm literally tied to the wall."

Could the viscous couple be frozen?? Maybe try removing the front driveshaft then see if the vehicle will move without locking the CDL.


(Edited adding the OP's words)
 
Last edited:
MrMacdugal

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The vehicle is moving with the vehicle in Hi, Transfer Case is not locked. Does not feel like the VC is seized. It definitely is seized on my other vehicle. The feel of that is very obvious.

I think what happened was that while the Tcase had nearly no oil in it, it wasnt the issue. But rather I finally made the right combo of movements with the transmission to free up something that is amiss or jammed in there. Either way, its working again now. I'm happy.

The transmission level on the dipstick shows its pretty full. I'm going to run it a bit to get fluids moving and check it again or possibly drain and refill for peace of mind.
 
bkfj40

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I’m wondering if you won’t have bearing issues on that tcase.

I was driving my 1974 fj40 across Kansas moving to Wyoming in the 90s. All of a sudden the vehicle would lock up for a split second while going 60 mph down the interstate

Turns out that I hadn’t gotten the Speedo cable all the way back in and sealed. The tcase pukes out the fluid while going down the road

I would try to peak into that tcase and check the fluid. Hope that there isn't
Metal in there

Good luck!
 
MoJ

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UPDATE:
PROBLEM SOLVED!!! She drives! Read further to see how it came back... or dont. I over type.
So before I read @PIP 's perfect advice(I SWEAR!), I did that exact sequence pretty much. Funny thing is I'm pretty sure??, I had done that before.
Either way, I added about 1.5 quarts of Transfer Case Oil to the Tcase because it was severely low.
Then I just tried to get it moving while in the air. I shifted it this way and that. At one point I was getting slight movement again like in my video. I did everything I could think of, right down to tapping the M-Fing trans with a rubber mallet. Then eventually it started making some noise(Transmission) when I would put it in gear or really anywhere. Sounded like bees in a hive almost. So like a pump, I guess. But a little louder than normal.
Still nothing. I even took a video to share, but I wont. Unless you want it.
Then, after no change and though I did everything. I put it down again and pushed it to the garage door. For s***, before I pushed it out, I started it up and while the Tcase was in N, I put it in gear and started getting some MORE action noises. Not grinding exactly, but not really Good sounding. Put in back and forth to R & D then said F- it, put the T case back in HI and threw it in Reverse.
The damn thing is moving. Backed out under its own power then drove around...
Problem is the drivers seat is jammed so far forward I cant sit in it, like at all, to go for a real ride. Thats next. I also took that mangled bumper off.
Then I can really start to baseline it!
View attachment 2877322
That’s awesome! But possibly more like “progress made” rather than “problem solved”.
 

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